Skip to main content

Elfreth Family papers

 Collection
Identifier: HC.MC-1221

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of the letters written to Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), a Quaker, many of which relate to family matters, including health and the birth of children, and occasionally indicates the connections among Quaker families. Many of the letter writers only sign with an initial, but some who can be identified include: Caleb P. Elfreth and James Elfreth, Joseph's brothers, and Abigail Pierce, their mother. There is also a box of financial accounts, including two notebooks kept by Jacob R. Elfreth. There are also miscellaneous letters, documents and a few photographs. Unusual among the latter is an eye-witness account by Florence Elfreth, Joseph's daughter, of events at the Equal Rights Convention, ca. 1870s.

Dates

  • 1832 - 1892

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

The Elfreth family was a notable Philadelphia Quaker family during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. (1789-1870), son of Jeremiah and Mary Taylor Elfreth, was initially apprenticed to enter into the hardware trade, but left to become a teacher, first in New Jersey, and later at Westtown School. He later became a bookkeeper for the Leigh Navigation Company, which was his occupation until he retired. Elfreth Sr. married Abigail Pierce, daughter of Caleb and Jane Pierce, in 1821, and the couple had ten children: Joseph (1824-1898), Jane (1826-1826), Jane P. (1827-1912), Caleb P. (1828-1908), Sarah (1830-1885), James (1833-1907), Rebecca P. (1835-1906), Jacob R. Jr. (1837-1924), Mary Elizabeth (1840-1898), and Robert M. (1846-1894).

Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), eldest child of Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. and Abigail Pierce Elfreth, married Hannah Hill, daughter of John and Esther Hill, in 1851. They had three children: Florence (1852-1875), John, and Esther.

Jacob R. Elfreth Jr. (1827-1924), the son of Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. and Abigail Pierce Elfreth, was born on October 22, 1837 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker merchant, elder, and minister. Initially apprenticed for five years to J.R. Sowers & Co., dry goods, Elfreth started a carpet business with his brother, James Elfreth (1833-1907). Elfreth Jr. never married and died November 14, 1924, in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

The collection, spanning the period from 1832 to 1892, consists primarily of the letters written to Joseph Elfreth (1824-1898), a Quaker, many of which relate to family matters, including health and the birth of children, and occasionally indicates the connections among Quaker families. There are also financial accounts, miscellaneous letters, documents and a few photographs.

Arrangement

Letters to Joseph Elfreth are arranged alphabetically.

Materials Specific Details

A descendant chart has been created beginning with Jacob R. Elfreth (1789-1870) and wife, Abigail Pierce.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown. Revised by Allison Hall; completed June, 2020.
Title
Elfreth Family papers, 1832-1892
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Revision Statements

  • June, 2020: Revised by Allison Hall

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

Contact:
370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US